Blayne, the half brother of a friend of the family was visiting, a young man in the Navy who would be heading to Japan in a few days on his last bit of leave. I asked him what kind of music he liked, what concerts he had enjoyed.
"I've never been to a live show" he said. He was under 21 so I could understand not getting into clubs, but no live shows at all? Dang, that seemed tragic somehow.
I checked and the Vera Project had a great lineup the next night, so I got my son and his buddy to volunteer (they ran concessions) and filmed the show while Blayne and Carina and I watched four great bands. Excellent choice for a first live concert experience, although I wish we'd had ten times as many people; as good as the bands were, they deserved a big crowd.
First up was Fit For Hounds, a band I mistakenly thought I had seen before, turns out that was Hounds of the Wild Hunt; I had to look it up in my blog. So this was the first time I've seen Fit For Hounds, as far as I know.
Guitar, bass, drums, 2 or 3 vocals, and occasional keys. Nice sound, good songs, Stalactite was nice, simple sound that builds in waves, slightly angular rhythm during the peaks, then back to the soothing groove again.
Out of My System and Glass Icicles were instant favorites.
I got the whole show up on youtube, poke around there (search for "virtualsoundnw fit for hounds" and you should get all 6 videos, 26 or 28 minutes of music).
Next up was Freighms, another local band. Two guitars, bass, drums and keyboards. Frieghms made heavier use of the keys than Fit For Hounds, giving them a nice piano driven approach on some numbers. On other songs it was more guitar and drums driving things like this:
The piano adds some color and becomes more prominent as the song unfolds. Nice sound, good dynamics.
Next up was From Indian Lakes.
Similar lineup with 2 guitars, bass, keys and drums. Slightly harder/more urgent approach, nicely crafted songs with a good range and dynamics.
This next song starts out quietly then builds nicely as the jangly guitars and synths kick in.
The transitions into the quieter portions with vocals, then back to more of a grinding guitar sound are interesting. Nice lead (in the older sense) guitar, not a solo, just a solid lead that holds portions of the song together. Tasty!
K Sera took the stage for the headlining set. Based on a quick listen on YouTube I thought they'd be soft and poppy, but they weren't. They had a tight, mildly hard sound, not too pop, more mainstream guitar oriented rock with good harmonies and intricate songs.
I enjoyed the lighting effects on that one too, nice combination of fast changing beats and sounds with the lights setting it off well.
This next one has a very nice simple guitar opening, then builds to a more complex sound with the drums, then drops to a simpler backing sound for the vocals, nice range of contrasts in a single song.
Four excellent bands doing interesting songs, well written and performed in tight arrangements, we definitely got our friend some nice music to listen to for his first concert experience. The attendance was a bit light - not unusual for a Sunday - but I wish we'd had a bigger sweatier crowd. The bands were good enough to deserve it and that would have been the icing on the cake for our buddy's first show. We just had to be satisfied by 4 creative bands putting on an excellent show; I can live with that.
Oh well, maybe next time he makes it to Seattle we can get him to some sweaty mosh pit...